I wish they hadn’t called it Night Teeth. It’s not a very good title for such an entertaining and inventive film.
Broke student Benny Perez (Jorge Lendeborg, Jr.) just wants to earn a little extra cash driving for a car service. He borrows a sweet ride from his older brother Jay (Raul Castillo) and picks up mysterious beauties Zoe (Lucy Fry) and Blaire (Debby Ryan) for a night of club hopping around Los Angeles.
The ladies are able to read Benny like a book and quickly determine he’s a newbie at the chauffeur game, a source of much amusement. And as the night goes on, Benny becomes alternatingly aroused and alarmed by his odd passengers, particularly after one stop when they return with a satchel full of bloody cash.
Meanwhile, his brother Jay has to get his boys together because there are vampires in Boyle Heights, and that runs counter to a long-standing treaty.
There’s a full slate of subplots in Night Teeth, including sparks between young Benny and the somehow-still-kind-hearted Blaire. When they’re together the movie freely pivots into a star-crossed romance and the night seems full of new possibilities.
Mostly the story sticks close to the mob-style coup being staged by ambitious vampire Victor (Alfie Allen), who wants to go back to the old ways of old days, when humans were fair game, regardless of their address.
Night Teeth is also one of those vampire movies (like Near Dark) that doesn’t use the “V” word, which is why I found the title clumsy, like it was picked out of a hat.
Even so, there is all-you-can-eat action, laughs, guts, and unlikely romance to be feasted on in Night Teeth. Just as in Vampires Vs The Bronx, bloodsuckers are depicted as affluent white gangsters trying to gain wealth and power by displacing a hardworking minority, in this case, Latin Americans.
“Who still uses crossbows?” Benny wonders out loud while trying to stay alive during a gnarly fight between undead rebels and vampire hunters. Find out this and other exquisite tidbits in Night Teeth, winningly directed by Adam Randall, and sharply written by Brent Dillon.
These vampires definitely don’t suck.